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Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

rjrl101
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: 18-07-2008

Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

Hello all,
I'm intending to make my home network cabling more permanent - moving the cable runs under the carpet and out of sight. I'm not looking to spend much and as such hope to make use of a large reel of stranded Cat5e cable that I've already got. I have enough of the cable to be able to to lay it away from well-trodden areas. I know that cabling like this is supposed to be solid and so I'm unsure if the cat5e modules/jacks are also suitable for stranded cable.
Is there a particular phrase or specification I should be looking for when shopping for Cat5 modules that shows whether they're suitable for solid or stranded cable or both?
I was thinking of purchasing parts from www.blackbox.co.uk (who also have some cheap solid cable, if it turns out I do need to purchase some) unless anyone can make another recommendation for where to buy,
thank you,
Richard
12 REPLIES
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: 26-07-2007

Re: Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

It should be OK if you can punch the wire in with a Krone tool (that's the tool used to push the wires into the slots on the reverse).  I've never come across different modules for stranded/solid wire.
rjrl101
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: 18-07-2008

Re: Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

Thanks for the help Paul, I was originally confused by this link http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?TabID=1&ModuleNo=27245&doy=19m7 on the Maplin site. It includes the following question on the rj45 module in the Help/FAQ for the item:
Quote
Q) Is UW17T suitable for solid or stranded cat5 cables? Is it push-fit connector type which only requires the IPC insertion tool and no crimper? Will two UW17T modules fit properly in a single CD44X? - Alex Cox
A) this is suitable for solid only a punch down tool is required for correct termination. 2 1/4 blanks (CD47) are required if only one module is used in a CD44
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: 26-07-2007

Re: Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

If it doesn't work you've always got the option of the cheap solid wire!  However, I've not had a problem with the stranded stuff in an IDC socket (may just have been lucky though!) nor have I seen a socket specifically for stranded wire (unless you can find one with screw terminals).
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

Isn't Cat5 stuff normally crimped, so IDC isn't relevant?
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

Yes for network cables when  you put a connector on each end - it does not matter if you use solid or stranded.
When wiring a building you tend to connect the cable to IDC connectors using a crone tool (as detailed earlier) where each coloured wire is connected separately.
Most wall sockets and patch panel IDC blocks will take stranded or solid cable so you should not have to worry. I do tend to use solid (like phone cable) but have never had a problem when wiring with stranded cable. The important thing is to have a good crimp tool like this
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

Years ago when I brought some connectors I did have problems making good connections. Found out the the connectors were not suitable for the wire. Can't remember which way round it was but some connectors are suitable for both solid and stranded wires and the ones I got were only suitable for ?
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

Blackbox do have options for solid and stranded for Cat5 plugs.
alanb
Grafter
Posts: 459
Registered: 24-05-2007

Re: Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

That's because flexible cable needs IPC (insulation piercing) connectors and solid cable needs IDC (insulation displacement) connectors.
If you fit the wrong type of connector it'll probably work fine, but you may get some bad or unreliable connections that need to be re-worked. (Make sure you buy some spare connectors.) Also, network throughput could be compromised, but it'll probably not be noticable in a lightly loaded home network.
Not applicable

Re: Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

Quote from: Peter
The important thing is to have a good crimp tool like this

Don't rush out and buy one though - Black Box tend to use the 110 System rather than the Krone - so the blade from a Krone tool won't fit in.
There is a similar tool for the 110 system (Black Box Part code FT025A £45.00 according to my catalogue), but they do tend to be more expensive and less readily available than the Krone stuff.
If you bought your faceplate modules from Maplin, they use Krone system stuff on their connections - would probably be the cheaper option for home use.
rjrl101
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: 18-07-2008

Re: Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

Thanks for the replies so far guys. I'm not connecting anything to the ends of any cables yet - it's very slow work peeling back the carpet and feeding the cable into the gap between the skirting boards and the floor. The gripper strip keeps catching my fingers too!
Another question though - I've hauled out my big box of computer spares and found in it an unbranded punch down tool (not as fancy as the Screwfix or Blackbox ones) and a lone Philex RJ45 keystone jack still in its packaging. I've no idea where I got them from as I've not attempted anything like this before. The jack is described as being "Socket 110 Krone easy fit". Which seems to suggest that 110 and Krone are the same thing? And then the punchdown tool is described as "for 110 & Krone IDC connector" which suggests that if they're not the same then they at least have something in common?
Anyhow I cut a short section of cable to make a test connection to the jack and it punched-down easily. A quick multimeter test showed electrical contact on each wire and upon pulling-out the connections I counted three strands of copper broken on one wire and one on another. On the remaining 6, the insulation had been pierced but no strands appeared broken which is good news.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

Quote from: rjrl101
I've hauled out my big box of computer spares and found in it an unbranded punch down tool ....I've no idea where I got them from....the punchdown tool is described as "for 110 & Krone IDC connector"

mmm, so that's where it went  Lips are sealed
Not applicable

Re: Stranded cable and Cat5 modules/jacks?

Quote from: rjrl101
Which seems to suggest that 110 and Krone are the same thing? And then the punchdown tool is described as "for 110 & Krone IDC connector" which suggests that if they're not the same then they at least have something in common?

They aren't the same thing. Wink
The Krone blade has ridges on the side of it, whereas a 110 blade is just flat with a notch in the middle.
110 blades work in Krone sockets, but Krone blades don't fit into 110 sockets.
So in your case, you don't need to worry about the difference - but be aware there is a difference in future if you ever decide to 'branch out' into buying the terminating tools etc. (The fancy tools Peter and I mentioned also snip the end of the cable after punching it in - invaluable when you are patching in lots of connections. - A 48-port patch panel has 384 individual wires to punchdown and terminate! Again, not a worry if you are doing a few at home.)